Salem Pioneer Village (US)

Built in 1930 to mark the tercentennial of Massachusetts, Pioneer Village is America's first living history museum. The village sits on three acres of land and contains various examples of colonial architecture: dugouts, wigwams, thatched roof cottages, and the Governor's Faire House. Culinary and medicinal gardens and a blacksmith shop further interpret early 17th-century colonial life.

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Pioneer Village is nestled between the woods and the ocean, a ten minute drive from downtown, in Salem's Forest River Park. The complex featured various types of early colonial dwellings including dugouts, wigwams, and thatched roof cottages. The centrepiece of the village was a recreation of the "fayre house" that had been built for Governor John Endicott after his arrival in 1628. Pioneer Village remained a popular tourist destination well into the 1950's.
Then for a variety of reasons the site gradually deteriorated over the next few decades. Fires, vandalism, and neglect took their toll. Finally, in 1985, the City of Salem Park Commission voted to raze the village but a year later, decision was taken to restore Pioneer Village and it re-opened in 1988. Pioneer Village is currently operated by the City of Salem's Witch House.

Text sources: &, by Jim McAllister
Photo: Pioneer Village Winter 2008, by Erik K. Smith, CC BY 3.0,


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